Today’s article and YouTube video with Rudy Ross features four Bible verses that Christ-followers do well to consider.
Unity in Christ
There are many expressions of the Christian faith, but if we agree on the essential message then we are part of the same family of God.
— 2 Corinthians 10.7 – Look at what is before your eyes. If you are confident that you belong to Christ, remind yourself of this, that just as you belong to Christ, so also do we.
Think for a moment about a believer or a denomination with whom you differ. Possibly, you had a heated argument or were made to feel inferior in the situation you remember.
According to Paul, if we belong to Christ, then we belong to each other.
A wise preacher once said, “If God is willing to call you his child, should you not be willing to call other Christians brother or sister?”
The Use of Power
Often church problems arise over the use of power. The problem in Corinth like that of many churches and organizations was an attempted hostile takeover.
False teachers attempted to exercise their power over the congregation to discredit Paul and use the church for their own ends.
Paul had spiritual authority over the church. God had used him to bring the Corinthians to Christ and he was the father of the church.
— 2 Corinthians 10.8 – Now, even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it.
Paul used his power and authority (which is the same word in Greek) to build up the church.
Any use of power can be filtered through this question: Does it build up the church?
The use of spiritual power is designed to build up the spiritual lives of the congregation. Spiritual authority should promote the unity of the church, and love for God and for one another.
Jesus is the Standard
The false teachers and their followers compared themselves with other humans.
— 2 Corinthians 10.12 – We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they do not show good sense.
When you are competing in a sport it is a good idea to compete with yourself. A personal best in an athletic event is quite an accomplishment.
The standard we apply to sports does not apply to the spiritual life. A personal best can lead us to complacency.
Our standard is not a personal best. Our standard is to live a Jesus-kind-of-life.
When Jesus gave the church the Great Commission, he said we are to “[teach] them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28.20).
The short-hand expression “living a Jesus-kind-of-life” takes into consideration a striving to obey everything Jesus commanded his followers to do.
If we read the Gospels, we will learn how to obey him and live his kind of life. This is the standard of judgment we should follow, not a comparison with others or ourselves.
Advertising for Jesus
The Christian is part of God’s advertising campaign for Jesus and a life lived like him.
— 2 Corinthians 10.17 – “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Everything we do should contribute to the good reputation of Jesus. If we make this our practice, we will greatly benefit the people with whom we come into contact.
Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube today. Rudy adds insights that are not covered in my blog articles. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.
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